Upcycle Your Old Phone and Help a Child in Need

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Students Helping Honduras

Greenest Genius helped provide backpacks to school-children in El Progresso, Honduras, pictured in March, 2012. Photo: Greenest Genius

Electronics upcycling is a win-win situation for consumer and recycler. The consumer gets to keep his or her old device out of landfills, sometimes gets paid for the contribution and gets a sweet new phone out of the process. The recycler gets to turn a profit and have a green reputation.

But what if turning in that crappy old phone could do some good for someone who isn’t necessarily involved in the transaction. A kid, perhaps?

That’s exactly the intention behind Greenest Genius. For every wireless device you send to the company, they pay you a bit of cash, but the person that really benefits from the situation is a child in need, somewhere, that gets a full backpack of school supplies.

Get Involved: How Can We Increase Phone Recycling Rates?

The whole idea was spawned when founder Michael Ross, a former “Real World Las Vegas” cast member, went to Central and South America to teach English and saw that, while many of the students wanted to learn, they simply couldn’t do it without the right supplies. Having supplies opens up new doors to the learning process, the company contends.

“We work with our partner organizations to make sure that the backpacks we donate are placed in a community that has a clear and present need,” the company says on its website.

Those organizations are both in the U.S. and beyond. The company regularly partners with Students Helping Honduras and Pencils of Promise, and is always looking for new organizations to help out.

Want to help out and get paid? Currently, Greenest Genius accepts mostly Apple products like iPhones, MacBooks, iPads and iPods because of their “reliability and compatibility,” but they say to check back regularly for other devices being added to the mix.

Stay Green, Make Green: Get Money for Recycling

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